Cougars 47 Sabres 14
The Notre Dame Cougars waited all season for a positive result and eventually cashed in Friday at Great Chief Park, whipping the Wetaskiwin Sabres 47-14 in a meeting of the Central Alberta High School Football League’s winless teams.
The victory allowed Notre Dame to grab the eighth and final post-season spot, a berth in the B-side playoffs.
“We learned a lot today,” said Cougars head coach Gino Castellan.
“That’s why it was important to win this game — so we could get another one so the kids could learn again . . . so they could learn a little bit more.
“We have a lot of young kids out there. The more reps they get the more confidence they’re going to get.
“And that’s just going to be better for us next year.”
The Sabres opened the scoring on a one-yard touchdown run by Colton Hutchinson in the first quarter.
But the Cougars responded with three second-quarter majors and never looked back, as Jordan Briault scored on a 44-yard pass-and-run play with quarterback Kieran Pruden, Dale MacDonald crashed over from one yard out and Nathan Stearns hauled in a 27-yard scoring pass.
Xavier Lawrence caught a 32-yard Pruden pass for a touchdown early in the third quarter, but the Sabres stayed within striking distance when Joshua Saddleback hit Cole Okeymaw with a 25-yard scoring pass on their next possession.
However, the Cougars pulled away for good with three consecutive majors in the fourth quarter.
MacDonald scored on a one-yard run and Miles Corsiatto crashed over the line on runs of one and two yards.
“A lot of our Grade 10s did the scoring. That was quite nice,” said Castellan.
The Cougars rushed for 316 yards — with MacDonald picking up 119 on 14 carries — and Pruden passed for 121 yards while completing five of 12 attempts.
Saddleback completed nine of 20 passes for 145 yards for the visitors, with Griffen Cymbaluk catching five for 85 yards.
The Sabres had minus-two yards on the ground.
“Pruden threw the ball quite well tonight and I thought we had a good overall effort,” said Castellan.
The Cougars head coach admitted that his team didn’t exactly build towards the victory with ever-improving performances during the season.
“We were up and down. One week we would take a step forward and the next week we’d go two back,” said Castellan. “But we definitely stepped up today.
“Again, it’s a learning experience and I think we got a lot out of this. The kids won, now they’ve been able to taste it.”
l The Camrose Trojans skinned the host Stettler Wildcats 49-14 Friday to secure third place and an A-side semifinal date with the Lacombe Rams.
Tylor Henry scored two touchdowns for the winners while hauling in four passes for 111 yards. Logan Woods also had two majors for Camrose, both on the ground.
Braden Nelson rushed for 165 yards on 21 carries and scored both touchdowns for Stettler.